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I am a wanna be newbie


christmashaywire
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christmashaywire

Hello All,

I have a very small budget for light o rama. I am looking for maybe 32 channels, software, and radio transmiter, hopefully for a total of just under 1 grand. I want to make a mega tree ( I have one already but its only multicolor). I want to use 32 channels on it and make it 36 strings of 100 count lights in red, green, white, and blue. So, that would be a total of 14,400 lights. I want to know how I can divide all of this so it will look good. I dont want it looking like 2 halves of the tree flashing I want it in several sections. The other 35000 lights that I have will stay on all the time. I am 16 and want to do all of this. I will pay for 90 percent of it and let the parents pay the electric bill.

Mark

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lightman16 wrote:

Hello All,

I have a very small budget for light o rama. I am looking for maybe 32 channels, software, and radio transmitter, hopefully for a total of just under 1 grand. I want to make a mega tree ( I have one already but its only multicolor). I want to use 32 channels on it and make it 36 strings of 100 count lights in red, green, white, and blue. So, that would be a total of 14,400 lights. I want to know how I can divide all of this so it will look good. I don't want it looking like 2 halves of the tree flashing I want it in several sections. The other 35000 lights that I have will stay on all the time. I am 16 and want to do all of this. I will pay for 90 percent of it and let the parents pay the electric bill.

Mark


Lor units $205.95 X2 = $411.90 http://store.lightorama.com/ctascpa.html

Lor Software $105(with usb adapter) http://store.lightorama.com/spk800.html

Fm transmitter ~$160 http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum80/16823.html

Extension cords (these add up extremely fast in $$$)

Light strands

About the Fm transmitter, you have many many many options, ranging from a $35 belkin tuncast 2 mod, to other options in the thousands. How far do you need to transmit to reach your viewers? The EDM FM transmitter is the best bang for your buck, and it has the ability to grow with your show. I used the Belkin last year and it worked OK for me, but I needed more this year.

Well you would have 9 channels to each color, that will make a pretty nice. Why 36 strands to 32 channels? You should eather go with 64 strands or 32 strands. Your number of strands should be equal to or double your amount of channels.

I was 16 when I started with lor. Its pretty late in the season to just begin thinking about lor, If your going to do it this season, buy now, and your going to have to sequence fast, or ask for lots of help.
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christmashaywire

doublea wrote:

lightman16 wrote:
Hello All,

I have a very small budget for light o rama. I am looking for maybe 32 channels, software, and radio transmitter, hopefully for a total of just under 1 grand. I want to make a mega tree ( I have one already but its only multicolor). I want to use 32 channels on it and make it 36 strings of 100 count lights in red, green, white, and blue. So, that would be a total of 14,400 lights. I want to know how I can divide all of this so it will look good. I don't want it looking like 2 halves of the tree flashing I want it in several sections. The other 35000 lights that I have will stay on all the time. I am 16 and want to do all of this. I will pay for 90 percent of it and let the parents pay the electric bill.

Mark


Lor units $205.95 X2 = $411.90 http://store.lightorama.com/ctascpa.html

Lor Software $105(with usb adapter) http://store.lightorama.com/spk800.html

Fm transmitter ~$160 http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum80/16823.html

Extension cords (these add up extremely fast in $$$)

Light strands

About the Fm transmitter, you have many many many options, ranging from a $35 belkin tuncast 2 mod, to other options in the thousands. How far do you need to transmit to reach your viewers? The EDM FM transmitter is the best bang for your buck, and it has the ability to grow with your show. I used the Belkin last year and it worked OK for me, but I needed more this year.

Well you would have 9 channels to each color, that will make a pretty nice. Why 36 strands to 32 channels? You should eather go with 64 strands or 32 strands. Your number of strands should be equal to or double your amount of channels.

I was 16 when I started with lor. Its pretty late in the season to just begin thinking about lor, If your going to do it this season, buy now, and your going to have to sequence fast, or ask for lots of help.



Thanks for the info...I am looking at a 90 dollar fm transmitter from wowlights.com

As far as the sequencing goes...I just bought a new laptop tonight. Funds are a little small at the moment for buying all the controls. I am going to be putting up lights the week of halloween. I am going to try to get it before then, but I am paying for part of my class ring too. I am going to try to have it before I start putting it up and try top get a little bit of sequencing done before hand and put up my mega tree within the first week and put up lights by day and work on the sequenciong at night. I will have 3 or 4 hours every night to devote to this... THanks for the tip of going with 32 strands for the channels. I am completely ignorant when it comes to this, but if I set my mind to it I will get it figured out and completed...If I dont have a great show this year...My family puts up 4000 lights or so for the fourth of July I will use the red wehite and blue lights for that and start sequencing for that....

There will be many more questions in the future



THanks

MArk
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lightman16 wrote:


Thanks for the info...I am looking at a 90 dollar fm transmitter from wowlights.com
...

There will be many more questions in the future



THanks

MArk



I don't know anything about that $90 'Whole House' transmitter; it may be great or it may suck. But it does only transmit on 106.7, 106.9, 107.1, 107.3, 107.5, 107.7 and 107.9, and if none of those are suitable, you will be totally screwed.

Check those 7 frequencies, and see if any of them have absolutely no signal on them whatever. Better would be if the frequency on each side has no or a weak signal on it.

I would never go with a transmitter which only allowed me 7 frequencies. Can you say 'planned obsolesence'?
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I've heard from many folks that were unhappy with the whole house transmitter and also some that liked it. Usually it works best if you live in very rural areas, far from the big city radio stations.

But as John said, the limited choice of frequencies is a huge disadvantage and will likely create a situation where you will be forced to broadcast over a paid station in your area ... thus violating your part15 license the FCC grants you ... so they can shut you down and even confiscate gear if you are reported by a listener of that station.

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christmashaywire

ok....thanks for the advice...Can you tell me another transmitter that you all would recommend that is around 75 to 100 dollars.. I am trying to save as much as possible and will probably end up ordering only 16 channels and using that this christmas and buying more for next christmas... If I use only the 16 channels then I am going to make it multi color and clear strands.....I think i can do a decent tree with those...

Thanks

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lightman16 wrote:

ok....thanks for the advice...Can you tell me another transmitter that you all would recommend that is around 75 to 100 dollars.. I am trying to save as much as possible and will probably end up ordering only 16 channels and using that this christmas and buying more for next christmas... If I use only the 16 channels then I am going to make it multi color and clear strands.....I think i can do a decent tree with those...

Thanks


Really I think you would be getting 4 times the fm transmitter if you purchased the edm lcd unit, total after shipping is $156.00 so those $56 should go along way. Ok Ive made my point clear, ill stop preaching the edm.

Last year I used my Belkin tunecast II with the mod. It only transmits about ~50'-100' which in most cases is barley acceptable. But for $35 thats your best choice, and the belkin tunes to all frequencies.

Ramsey makes some $50 kits, but they have drift, I really advise against those units, Higher up ramsey units are really good, but their $50 ones are junk.

I have yet to hear anyone fully satisfied with their whole house transmitter.

There are more choices out their in the $75-100 range... They are just lesser known.

Also the older edm unit may do ok for you, thats $102

EDM-TX-10P
10mW PCB, Parts, Antenna,
Regulated 12V PSU

http://www.edmdesign.com/orders.html

But you need to provide your own enclosure for that.
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christmashaywire

ok I wil consider the extra....I found one that says you can set it to whatever frequency and it will transmit up to 300 feet. It is 70 dollars plus shipping.

A question about mega tree set up.....Do you suggest the set up doubled over so it is a strand on opposite sides lit up or do you prefer it pieces...For instance in my case 8 four strand wedges? I think I would do better with the wedges butwhich looks better or is it strictly a matter of opinion?

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Honestly ... if budget is that tight, then the mobile blackbox v6000 for $99 is decent, but its less quality than a Ramsey or EDM ... and its main drawback is that its MONO. But I have heard from several members that they were happy with it. The other (older) mobile blackbox models are unacceptable and not reccomended at all.

I have also heard that the CCRANE FMT might be acceptable if 75-100' of transmit range is acceptable for you. Its about $80 and may be hackable to make it more capable. Probably not much better than a modded belkin, but the amazon reviews on it are fairly decent.

I agree with others comments 100% ... but if budget dictates all else, then these might be the least compromising of the $100 (and less) alternatives.

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lightman16 wrote:

ok I wil consider the extra....I found one that says you can set it to whatever frequency and it will transmit up to 300 feet. It is 70 dollars plus shipping.

A question about mega tree set up.....Do you suggest the set up doubled over so it is a strand on opposite sides lit up or do you prefer it pieces...For instance in my case 8 four strand wedges? I think I would do better with the wedges butwhich looks better or is it strictly a matter of opinion?


Be carefull with units from china, I have no clue where the one your referring to is from. But some of the ones from china, blast very "dirty" signals all over the place, at 1w. The cheap china units have no respect for nearby stations, and quality of signal.

Go with a known brand. (or known around here atleast)
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Mark,

I agree with what everyone else is telling you about the transmitter. The quality of music that people hear in the car goes a long way for a quality display. I know this because the first transmitter I had was the 'Whole House Transmitter'. It worked ok for what I needed last year because I live in a smaller city, open freqs. The sound in the house was ok and range was good with an antenna attached but it was prone to distortion at the range where the cars parked. People still enjoyed the display and I didn't have to worry about violations.

With that said I now own an EDM LCD transmitter and I really wish I had just bought that in the first place. Sound is awesome and range is great, even with the little test antenna that it came with. I could have used the $$$ that I spent on the Whole House unit on more cords or lights but the positive is I have a backup now in case I spill something on the nearly bullet proof EDM (beverage next to work = extremely dumb habit).

In case I wasn't clear, I love my EDM!

If you look up Richard Holdman on you tube you will see his mega tree has the strands running up and over the top and down the other side. I think either way looks great. The true magic is in the quality of sequencing. Up and over allows in a way, twice as many sections vs. doing it in wedges, sections or how ever you want to describe the other method.

Just remember, always have fun and enjoy doing your display. There is alot to it but everybody is here to help.


Mark

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When I was looking for radios, I found the Ramsey 25B kit for under $100. This would be an adequate transmitter for your purposes, but it is a serious kit, requiring significant electronic kit assembly and soldering skills. If I had to go for a transmitter under $100, that's probably how I'd go, but fortunately, I was able to get the EDM.

The mono only (not stereo) MobileBlackBox V6000 is currently $99 and covers all the frequencies (instead of the 7 or less many of the cheaper ones do), so it might be a possibility. I have not heard anyone say anything good or bad about it (except the note above).

A modified Belkin has been used by many people with varying results for really cheap. Rumor has it that some of the new models 'cannot' be modified (case is sealed).


I've heard several complaints about the Crane.

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Bob VandenBoom

lightman16 wrote:

ok I wil consider the extra....I found one that says you can set it to whatever frequency and it will transmit up to 300 feet. It is 70 dollars plus shipping.

A question about mega tree set up.....Do you suggest the set up doubled over so it is a strand on opposite sides lit up or do you prefer it pieces...For instance in my case 8 four strand wedges? I think I would do better with the wedges butwhich looks better or is it strictly a matter of opinion?

Over the top and down the other side will make better use of your channels. Doing a one sided wedge requires two channels per slice if you are going to do any spins. There are a few effects that look great using a one sided wedge, but it complicates sequencing. I have done both ways and have settled on a combination where three of my colors are up and over the top slices and one (white) is a one sided wedge configuration. This gives me a good trade off of effects and channel economy. If I was using 32 channels and 4 colors I would do six slices (up and over) of three colors and then 12 one sided wedges of your brightest color. this would require 30 channels leaving one for a star or other topper and one spare.....unless you want a two dimensional or two color topper.
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christmashaywire

Thanks everybody for the great advice.......Unfortunately my dad rained on my parade yesterday and told me that i wasnt going to sink any more money into our Christmas light display....(i consider it an investment) lol... I am a huge fan of Richard Hokdmans display...that is the show of all shows....(not saying that you alls arent great too). I may try to still go with a radio transmitter just to add a little....Maybe I can talk him out of his ruling but I will have to hurry!!!!!



Thanks again.

Mark

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  • 3 years later...

landolights.com has a great article on building Mega trees including spacing. It's in their DIY section. This is where I got my instructions. I followed them to a tee and my tree looks really great.



Merry Christmas:)

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John Hertig wrote:

lightman16 wrote:

Thanks for the info...I am looking at a 90 dollar fm transmitter from wowlights.com
...

There will be many more questions in the future



THanks

MArk



I don't know anything about that $90 'Whole House' transmitter; it may be great or it may suck. But it does only transmit on 106.7, 106.9, 107.1, 107.3, 107.5, 107.7 and 107.9, and if none of those are suitable, you will be totally screwed.

Check those 7 frequencies, and see if any of them have absolutely no signal on them whatever. Better would be if the frequency on each side has no or a weak signal on it.

I would never go with a transmitter which only allowed me 7 frequencies. Can you say 'planned obsolescence'?


I tried it this summer and it only seemed to have a 10' range and not to clear at that. sent it back.
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Ok, I have to ask.. are you really in an area that you'd have to use a radio for people to enjoy your lights?? Is it cold/snowing/blizzarding?? I'm asking, because you didnt put your town in your profile, and if you're in AZ/CA/NV/NM.. etc.. you really dont need one unless you're up in the mountains.. you could SAVE that radio money for a controller.

If you are in colder climes, then build your MegaTree, use the one controller but go with just an 8 or 16 channel MegaTree (two color), and spread the rest of your channels around the yard.. house outline (roof/porch/etc), candy canes, mini-trees.. you can plug several of the props into the same channels and mirror items..

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